"As societies build walls of separation between communities,
ICAAD works to remove each brick to illuminate our common humanity"

Raise Your Shield Blog

Addressing Racism in VR + Donor Spotlight

Dear friend of ICAAD, This season, we are grateful that ICAAD has grown to be a vibrant community of people who are committed to the promotion of human rights, peace, and equality. We are excited to spotlight three of our tenacious supporters, Gail & Allen Dougherty and Laura […]

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Combating Sexual Harassment for Women

ICAAD has teamed up with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) to conduct a train the trainers program to combat sexual harassment in the workplace for major public and private sector groups across Fiji. The program is designed to be scaled and […]

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Expanding Data Collection for Dalit Communities in New Delhi

community paralegals in delhi

A Dalit women-led network of paralegals trained and supported by our partner Nazdeek is expanding their data collection efforts and tracking access to basic services for two additional low-income communities in New Delhi. ICAAD’s role was to develop a new version of the human rights monitoring technology […]

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Report Sets off Flurry of Questions for Women’s Rights Review

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) recently released an 8 page list of questions for Fiji, following the submission of a Parallel Report drafted by ICAAD on behalf of a coalition of local NGOs. While the Parallel Report mentioned efforts made in […]

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Bryan and Gurjit believe systemic design solutions can lead to greater change

Dear friend of ICAAD, It’s our pleasure to recognize ICAAD donors Bryan Miller and Gurjit Kaur for their support of our mission. Bryan served on the ICAAD Board from 2014-2016, and works as Finance Director at a sustainable brand design powerhouse BBMG. We asked him to share […]

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Sean supports evidence-based change. Will you join him and get a bonus?

Dear friend of ICAAD, Meet Sean Dougherty, lawyer at Shearman & Sterling LLP and ICAAD’s Board Chair. Sean’s support of our mission and his dedication to the promotion of human rights is truly inspiring. As a lawyer, Sean values the power of research and data to advocate […]

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Building Legal Frameworks to Survive Climate Change

“Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and Maria and the massive floods in South Asia are just the most recent demonstration of the urgency of tackling climate change,” said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres at the Leaders’ Dialogue on Climate Change during the opening of the General Assembly this week. […]

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ICAAD Interns Conduct Groundbreaking Research & Analysis

The ICAAD intern program expands its reach to Australia and New Zealand, where ICAAD Interns Erin Thomas and Suvradip Maitra have been working on two important initiatives. Erin Thomas is a student at American University in Washington DC, focusing on Global and Comparative Governance in the Pacific, […]

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Using Data and Legal Education to Bridge the Gap

Marginalized communities in Kenya face challenges in accessing basic resources and infrastructure. Even where government systems are in place, there are problems with the quality of services and enforcement of laws, especially in rural and impoverished areas. Hakijamii is an organization dedicated to securing economic and social […]

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The Rising Tide of a Stronger Judiciary

ICAAD’s work to improve access to justice for women and girls in the Pacific is currently focusing on fact that sentences are reduced in 52% of cases of violent crimes against women and girls because of gender-bias and customary reconciliation practices. In many cases perpetrators are given […]

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#RaiseYourShield

This Civil Rights and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’d like to challenge you to reflect on how fear may have influenced your opinions, especially of others, and to take a step towards the courage to overcome those fears. Why the focus on fear you might ask?

Famed marketer and author Simon Sinek in his book “Start with Why” outlines six typical manipulations used in sales and marketing, one of which is the use of fear. On fear, Sinek says, “When fear is being employed, facts are incidental. Deeply seated in our biological drive to survive, that emotion cannot be quickly wiped away with facts and figures.”

In the current political atmosphere, in the U.S. and around the globe, fear is often used by politicians and campaigners to polarize debates and to demonize marginalized communities, using them as scapegoats for the real economic, social, and political challenges that societies face.

Martin Luther King, Jr. understood how important fear is, so much so that he gave a sermon on it named “Antidotes for Fear.” It’s worth reading in its entirety, especially because it recognizes the importance, necessity, and creativity of fear (kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/draft-chapter-xiv-mastery-fear-or-antidotes-fear). However, particularly pertinent section was highlighted by King’s wife Coretta Scott King in her book “My life with Martin Luther King, Jr”:

“First Martin spoke of the many kinds of fear that troubled men and women in this period of change and "calamitous uncertainty"— fear of illness or economic disaster, fear of personal inadequacy in our highly competitive society. More terrible was the fear of death, even racial annihilation, in this atomic age, when the whole world teetered on "a balance of terror . . . fearful lest some diplomatic faux pas ignite a frightful holocaust."

"Some fears are normal and necessary," he said, like the fear of snakes in a jungle, but when they become neurotic and unchecked, they paralyze the will and reduce a man to apathy or despair. He quoted Emerson, who wrote, "He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear."

How, then, to overcome fear? First, Martin said, "We must un-flinchingly face our fears . . . this confrontation will, to some measure, grant us power. . . . "Second, we can master fear through one of the supreme virtues known to man— courage . . . courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear.”"

MLK Coretta Scott King Simon Sinek
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